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If you travel abroad, chances are you won't encounter any problems. However, being prepared for little emergencies can make a big difference when away from home. Even before you leave home, there are things you can do to make your travel abroad safer.
First of all, try to travel as light as possible, both in the number of luggage pieces you take and in the amount of jewelry and other valuables you bring along. When you travel abroad, make photocopies of your passport and airline tickets and keep them in a separate area. If you miss the originals, it will be easier to get around and start a claim.
The Department of State publishes a series of lists about every country in the world. These lists include everything from entry requirements to the crime situation of each country. If a country poses a particular risk, the list will include a Travel Warning. Anybody planning to travel abroad should consult this information. Once you are ready to travel abroad, make sure you leave a copy of your itinerary with friends or family so they will be able to contact you in case of an emergency.
Another thing to take into consideration when you travel abroad is personal safety. Always use common sense in crowded spaces, especially if you're visiting popular tourist sites. If you're traveling alone, avoid desolated areas or poorly-lit streets. Try to keep a low profile at all times. Nothing makes you an easier target than looking lost or calling attention to yourself.
When you travel abroad, stay away from situations that may cause legal trouble. Never buy from or exchange money with somebody on the streets. These people may be criminals or dealing with counterfeit products, and you may get in a lot of trouble if discovered.
If you must travel abroad to a high-risk area, make sure you register with the US embassy as soon as you arrive at your destination. Be particularly careful about sharing personal information with strangers and make sure you know how to quickly access police stations and hospitals. If you run into problems when you travel abroad, contact a consular office immediately. While they cannot provide legal advice, they can help you get in touch with the right people to help, no matter what the problem.
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